Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will miss six months after surgery for a dislocated right shoulder, according to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Kidd-Gilchrist injured the shoulder in Charlotte's first exhibition game of the preseason, falling hard during the second quarter in Orlando. The injury was initially reported as a shoulder dislocation and X-Rays were negative on Sunday. Here's the play which Kidd-Gilchrist was injured on.
For those wondering about MKG, this is the play he injured his shoulder on. Hard, hard fall. #Hornets pic.twitter.com/JFuc6EBxI0— Chris Kroeger (@Kroeger) October 4, 2015
This will be the second straight season in which Kidd-Gilchrist misses considerable time, and it comes right after Charlotte signed him to a 4-year, $52 million contract. The 22-year-old lost 27 games to a foot injury in the 2014-15 season, and now may not be able to return to action until the very end of the regular season. He also had a concussion in the 2013-14 season that caused him to miss time.
Kidd-Gilchrist has been a backbone for Charlotte's defense, which finished No. 9 last season in defensive rating and No. 6 the year prior. Although his jump shot still doesn't stretch out to the three-point line, Kidd-Gilchrist boosted his scoring to nearly 11 points per game last season on 47 percent shooting. With some retooling of the roster and the dismissal of the terrible Lance Stephenson experiment, the Hornets had hoped to push for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference this season. Without Kidd-Gilchrist for a majority of the season, that task grows monumentally harder.
In his place, the Hornets have a few options at small forward. Charlotte traded for Nicolas Batum this summer, and while the plan was for him to play shooting guard, he can easily slide over a position at times. Marvin Williams is another player who will likely spend time at the three while P.J. Hairston should see a consistent role as a backup. Without Kidd-Gilchrist, the Hornets can space the floor better offensively, even as the defense takes a hit.